US: No decision yet on future troop presence in Iraq

By REUTERS
October 16, 2011 04:48

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration denied a news report on Saturday it had made a final decision to pull almost all US troops out of Iraq by a year-end withdrawal deadline.

The White House and Pentagon both denied an Associated Press report citing unnamed US officials saying they completely dropped the idea of possibly keeping a significant contingent in Iraq as trainers for Iraqi security forces beyond 2011.

US and Iraqi officials have been negotiating the prospects for up to several thousand US troops staying, but the main sticking point has been an Iraqi refusal to grant the military personnel legal immunity, as Washington has demanded.

The issue could be a deal-breaker but it is a sensitive one for Iraqis, who have seen abuses by US troops and contractors through the more than eight years since the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.


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